The level of activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano has remained high over the last 24 hours, although there have been no large explosions or major ash clouds. A few rockfalls resulted in small ash clouds. The seismic records have been dominated by frequent, small hybrid earthquakes, which occur at shallow depths within the volcano. These earthquakes have been recorded since about 22:30 last night (Tuesday), and have been occurring at a rate of five per minute for most of the day.
Viewing conditions from the airport and other vantage points were generally poor until late afternoon, although occasional cloud clearances during the day allowed some views of the spine. During a helicopter observation flight, no major changes in the crater area were observed from yesterday. The spine has not changed much in height, and is estimated to be currently below the height of Chances Peak. The south and southwest parts of the dome were more active than before, and steam and Sulphur Dioxide were being emitted from various places. Views of the dome near Gages Wall showed no changes over the last few days.
Measurements have continued today with the new Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment. A network of lines around the volcano have now been measured. Repeated measurements of this network over the next few weeks will allow a much better understanding of the deformation of the volcano.
The volcano remains in a highly dangerous state, and another explosive eruption could start at any time. The MVO scientists continue to urge people still living in the evacuated zone to leave immediately. Visits to the evacuated zone should be restricted to those that are absolutely essential. The Tar River, Long Ground and Whites areas remain extremely dangerous, and should not be entered under any circumstances.